Monday, July 19, 2010

"Help me ... help you!"

Hook’em and Book’em Grows

Have you ever launched into something without knowing the consequences? Something akin to grudgingly offering to coach a kid’s baseball team knowing the last time you picked up a bat Babe Ruth was still cracking home runs? Or starting a blog without knowing where it might lead?

Almost six months ago, I launched Hook’em and Book’em (HB) with an idea that mystery readers and writers might like to connect with law enforcement. Maybe readers might like to learn from cops—those who have fought the good fight—and use this information to write mystery fiction with more authenticity. Added to this, I thought mystery readers and writers might like to meet other published authors and learn about their latest novel.

Time appears to have validated this assumption. Readers from thirty countries have wandered over to HB in the last six months.These visitors have arrived from every continent but Antarctica—and I’m still hoping for a reader from that icy tip of the world. Although most of our visitors are from North America, they’ve included islanders off the coast of Thailand, as well as visitors from Tobago, Greece, Saudi Arabia, Lithuania, and other places I’d love to visit.

Here at HB, I continue to learn through trial and error. Thanks for overlooking these mistakes

One thing I’d like to encourage is more dialogue with and between readers. Although we continue to have a number of visitors, they often come and go without leaving a trace. Just past through cyberspace without telling us know what they think or what they might find interesting.

Here comes another assumption. I feel  Hook’em and Book needs to broaden its content to capture the revolution going on in the publishing industrylike ebooks, print on demand publishers, and major publishers starting their own self-publishing ventures. 

Beginning this week, there will three posts a week on HB. Generally, these articles will appear on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, unless my reservoir of ideas come us empty, my computer crashes, or a major publisher wants one of my novels right now. I want encourage readers to jump in with comments, suggestions and requests. Is there a mystery author you’d like me to hunt down and invite to our group? Any topic in law enforcement you’d like to learn more about? How about the publishing industry? Writers and aspiring novelists: how about the pains and joys of writing? What are some things you are struggling with? What rocks your boat? What really ticks you off?

Here at HB, I’d like to open this up to more dialogue and interaction. More of an open forum on any number of topics that might interest readers. Our core law enforcement and author interviews will still continue. I plan on taking a look at the border issues currently in the news, as well as other cops topics. 

Two of my favorite authors will join us in the coming month: 

Bestselling author Davis Bunn will hook up with us—all the way from England, unless he happens to be surfing in Florida—to talk about his latest novel, The Black Madonna, scheduled for release in September. 

Author Dean Koontz, New York Times bestseller, will join us in a few months about his novel, What The Night Knows, targeted for release in December. His prose and his plots are sure to make you shiver.

I hope to offer our readers much more, but it all depends upon you. Let me know what interested you. What you’d like me to pursue.

The key is flexibility in our topics. HB will strive to offer other perspectives about what is happening in the publishing industry. Quick briefs on mystery novels just hitting the stands. We’ll be exploring what’s happening in the publishing digital revolution, cultural trends in fiction, and any other subject that is hot at the time. Please leave your comments in the link to this article, or email me directly at

Remember that Jerry McGuire movie scene where actor Tom Cruise plays a sports agent. In one scene, the agent, Jerry McGuire struggles to break through to his one and only client about the need to make their best possible football deal. Peering into his client’s eyes, McGuire pleads: “Help me … help you. Help me, help you.”

Here at HB, I saying the same thing … although don’t expect any money.

Thanks to all those readers who’ve stopped by over the last six months. Keep on enjoying this journey.


  1. This is a GREAT idea for a blog!!!!

    Go for it!!!

    I've never read a Dean Koontz novel as I always thought they were sci fi. But his name keeps coming up in crime fiction. I'll have to check him out.

  2. Thanks, Nike.

    There's always a lot of crime in a Dean Koontz novel. I think what I enjoy most is how he puts words and sentences together. I have found him to be a great teacher.

  3. I am a (novice) writer and want to include intrigue in my novels as that is what I enjoy to read and I don't believe you should write what you wouldn't read. One issue I have when writing the villain is the "why" to his (or her) concentration on the hero (or heroine). Having never personally dealt with a stalker or murder I would love gain insight into why criminals, who are after one single object, don't just give up. Why do they continue until it becomes lethal to those that get in their way, or to themselves? Why isn't life more important to them than material objects? Any insight would be appreciated. Thanks!

  4. Great questions, anonymous. Your thoughts are the grist of crime mystery novels and what drew me into law enforcement many years ago. Basically, why do bad people do bad things?

    I’m not a psychiatrist, but I’ve sat across the table from many criminals. I found it fascinating to study how these guys rationalize what they do and why they land in prison. Seldom do they take responsibility for their actions, unless they are sitting in front of a parole board. I believe a part of the cause is how they grew up—many coming from a very dysfunctional family, generally with an absentee father. However, many people under similar circumstances became solid citizens. At least one of them even became our president.

    I will post your questions in a separate article. Join us next Friday when another reader wants to know about stalkers. We will start there, and then include your questions later in the month. Thanks for joining us.

  5. Oh my. I just found you. I could keep you busy full time. : ) But I'll start out with one question: What's the best source for accurate historical police procedure? I'm interested specifically in 1940 through 1960, more interested in the 40s. This is a great blog concept. I'll be checking out your older posts.

  6. Thanks for joining us, Pamila. You’ve picked an interesting period of police history to write about in fiction

    Here are a couple of suggestions, but I will do a little more research and post a blog later regarding more detailed information:

    Police work was handled quite differently in the 1940s, depending what part the Unites States your writing about. For example, New York City handled their investigations different than Los Angeles. One source of information is the life and times of August Vollmer, former police chief of Berkeley, Ca. (1905-1932). He is one of those credited with modernizing police work and was active in this endeavor almost until his death in the 1950s. After leaving Berkley PD, he taught at the UC, Berkeley, and founded the American Society of Criminology. I believe he was chief at LAPD for a couple years, but left due to the level of corruption in that agency. Berkeley PD’s web site lists Sergeant Michael Holland as a contact person regarding Berkeley police history. He can be reached at (510) 981-5802.

    Many police departments, particularly the larger ones, have individuals or even units interested in preserving police history of their department. I’d suggest you search whatever geographical area you’re writing about, list those police agencies, then make calls to those agencies (or check them on line) for information.

    Never over look local universities, particularly those who house criminology departments. They’ll have a treasure trove of information you’re looking for.

    I hope this helps. If you send me your email address with what area of the country you are interested in, I’ll do some checking before I post these questions.

    Hope you find this helpful.

  7. Thanks for the suggestions, Mark. Those are great tips, I'll check them out.